The Wolverine Trap: Jim Desilva

Traveling Jim Desilva

This week’s Trap will feature A League veteran Traveling Jim Desilva. OTJ has been a fixture at CRFC ever since I have been here and even well before that. While his hoops skills may have deteriorated slightly, his quick wit and banter has labeled him the most feared poster on the CRFC boards. Let’s take some time to get to know OTJ.

Wolverine: Thanks for being on this week’s Trap, OTJ. It is highly anticipated.

OTJ: I appreciate the opportunity to be a guest on this top-rated show.

Wolverine: Keep in mind that some of these questions are not mine, they have been sent in by the fans. I must say I have gotten quite a few.

OTJ: In the future, I think it would be good to have the questions author be known for a more ‘directed’ response. This will make for much better answers by those in the Trap. And let me extend props to the Wolverine for taking the ball and running with it to make the Trap such a success.

Wolverine: Agreed, but, as you know from the boards, some people prefer to remain anonymous. Let’s take this opportunity to let the fans know the basics, like where you are from, what sports you played growing up, etc.

OTJ: I’m originally from Northern Virginia and went to school at Virginia Tech, home of the Fighting Gobblers (also, the Hokies) and Michael Vick. Baseball was really my thing but I ended up being a soccer player in high school and then college. But I am really a skateboarder and windsurfer at heart. I came up here in 87, joined CRFC in 89 I think, and they have been whacking my credit card ever since.

Wolverine: For those fans who do not know, please explain the nickname “OTJ.”

OTJ: I believe that the Commish started calling me Traveling Jim or maybe it was Kevy Kev 74 or Diesel, I’m not sure. It was one of the first nicknames, for sure. I believe it has something to do with me being called for a travel at least once a game. Then, TJ Google showed up and started posting. He got into it with J-Rod online and some people thought it was me, so I switched to OTJ, or Original TJ, to avoid any confusion online.

Wolverine: I think you chased him off b/c I haven’t seen him post in a while. Ok, now for the toughies. You have captained teams in 11 of the 13 seasons here at CRFC and have yet to win the championship, despite having either McMahon or Poulos on almost all of them. If this were The Apprentice, you’d have been fired a long time ago. How do you account for this lack of success?

OTJ: I’m the Marvy Levy of this league. 4 times in the big game and no banner. The last season with McMahon was very disappointing, I have to admit. Then there was the BS heave by a certain party who shall remain nameless that sank us in another final.

Wolverine: Everyone knows I am deadly from half court.

OTJ: However, my last team with Poulos and O’Donnel was better than the Commish’s team that beat us, but I wasn’t there and they fell apart without me. Say what you want, but the Coach is important. Have I really had 11 drafts?

Wolverine: Well, you have been in 11 leagues.

OTJ: Then, that’s a slight exaggeration.

Wolverine: I do that sometimes for effect.

OTJ: The lesson I have learned from these losses is I know the right thing to do, I need to step up and demand it from my superstars.

Wolverine: Please explain the legendary collapse of the OTJ Big Love Machine featuring Ian ‘Apple’ Mackintosh and Brian Ripley?

OTJ: That team was ridiculous. I was hurt and probably played 20 minutes all season, but I witnessed every one of those games. When you have two black holes on one team, it is generally a chemistry problem, and it would have taken all of Genzyme to figure that one out.

Wolverine: (laughing) That is good material.

OTJ: Individually, they were both good players (OK, Ripley is actually really good, and Ian was, well, just big), but that team needed a point guard desperately. I should have made a trade in retrospect. Apple had 26 rebounds in one of those games. I think they were all offensive off his own bricks standing under the hoop.

Wolverine: Is there anyone at CRFC that you have not fouled?

OTJ: Probably not, although I am always on the lookout for new players.

Wolverine: Which hurt more Diesels paw to the jaw last Saturday or Bain’s spin move into your chin a few weeks back?

OTJ: Time to go on a rant… started with the Bain Train Crash, where we both went down flat and there was blood everywhere. Then, Bob Statchel left me (and Loaf, I might add) bloody on the next two consecutive games. Then, Ripley elbowed me in the head behind my ear and gave me a welt that still hasn’t gone away. Then, Diesel clubs me for no reason last week with the paw to the jaw and then Statchel did the same move, but in my ear, yesterday. It’s all good, but I need to start wearing a helmet.

Wolverine: You have had a rough few weeks. I have received questions like “What was it like reporting for the Springfield Gazette on Dr. Naismith’s new found college game?” And “Do you get social security for helping write the bible?” Essentially, it seems people want to know how old you are. Care to share?

OTJ: That’s good stuff…the OTJ is 43. My new hero is Darryl Green, who lost the “fastest man” contest at the Pro Bowl skills challenge by half a step. Since Darryl is 45, that is pretty impressive-so I got at least two years left.

Wolverine: Is it true that you have actually seen Edwin play?

OTJ: Oh yeah…and it was sad. He says crap like, “Jim, I used to dominate you back in the day”. What? Talk about guys who used to foul. Edwin was one of the worst. And you know why the backboards were mismatched for so long? Edwin broke one of them when he tried a ‘3’ one day. Remember, Edwin always, always, picks in front of me…that sums it up, I think.

Wolverine: And there actually used to be two courts in that gym � they just went across the current court horizontally?

OTJ: This is a CRFC Trivia Factoid Truth. And I played then…I started playing here when I was thirty. You think I travel now, you should have seen me then. The transition from offense to defense was about 3 steps…it was kind of like racquetball basketball.

Wolverine: How good was Big Ben, Edwin, Stevie Martin, and Sean Fitzgerald in their day?

OTJ: Ben plays the same now that he did back then…stands around out on the perimeter, makes funny faces at you when you don’t get open and hardly ever gets his 245 into the paint where he just Shaq-ifies people up. Exact same game, just a little slower. Steve Martin, I can’t remember exactly who he is, so I can’t really comment, but Fitzgerald…it’s all the same. Always double teaming everyone on the court, running all over, can’t shoot to save his life…it’s the exact same movie, just a little more grainy footage. This is all in contrast to my game, which has evolved quite a bit…

Wolverine: How would you compare CRFC pick-up now versus CRFC pick-up then?

OTJ: It’s like watching the NBA Finals now vs. the Lakers/Celtics of the 80’s….more guys going one on one now, more passing, cutting and teamwork back in the day. Mike Bird (Larry’s brother) was a good player and epitomized the old school style, even if he looked like he was pregnant. The game was better then, but the players are better now.

Wolverine: Let�s say you have the first five picks of the draft and you can choose anyone you have ever seen play at CRFC (in their prime) � who are they, excluding former Celtic players who evidently played here in the early 90�s?

OTJ: My team is McMahon, Poulos, Feddy, Gaspar, and Olinto. I would probably have Cheese come off the bench because I like how he plays. People who don’t like Feddy…he went for 60 one night…how can you not like that? Nobody could stop him, though I never saw him matched up with McMahon, who is the best player in CRFC history. Please note those are all new School players. Old School would be coming off the bench…

Wolverine: As stated above, you are widely considered to possess the best material for the boards. Who is your favorite poster on the CRFC boards, other than yourself?

OTJ: Loaf writes the best stuff…but it’s not just quality, you need some quantity too, Loaf. Not to brag, but the Furry Chronicles was the funniest stuff ever on this website…”Filosa comes home and his cat has thrown up two hairballs on the rug….What’s the difference between this and Serge? Answer–The hairballs don’t have a spin move.” You got to admit that’s good stuff.

Wolverine: Ok, that is funny. But my cat stays out of this interview � she�s a saint.

OTJ: But I really do feel bad that Serge became upset by all that…he’s a good dude and it was all meant in fun. I think he was mad because he thought I was the one writing stuff about his lady…I would never do that and really try to keep it within reason, unlike some other posters on this site. I will say that Serge has advanced his game considerably since he has been here…

Wolverine: Agreed. And his basketball skills have gotten better too.

OTJ: Ripley absolutely, positively cannot stop him under any circumstances. You know, I did name my current team after Serge…”OTJ’s Tribute to Furry Serge.� My next squad? “OTJ’s Tribute to Jerry.�

Wolverine: Sorry, but Jerry (and any reference to his name) have been banned for life from CRFC. It was a sad end to a sorry episode�

OTJ: I also enjoy Diesel’s rants about him being at the top of the food chain, and anything by the Big Dawg. Poulos had the best one recently about Black Ice, calling him the Barking Crab…that is some funny s#@!

Wolverine: Barking Crab is one of the all-time classic names, especially considering it came from Poulos, who does his share of barking. Although you are clearly an A league character, but your basketball game is mostly B league (no offense). When are you going to join in on all the B league fun like so many have already?

OTJ: I have watched a number of those B league games and I am not entirely sure of the distinction between B1 and A.

Wolverine: That�s because there isn�t much difference at all. Next season it will be A1 and A2, and anyone can enter a team for A2 on Wednesdays, including current A League guys.

OTJ: Kent, Bain, Loaf and Serge are all on a team and they haven’t even won yet. Wolverine, you might have to drop down so you can get back into the top ten in rebounding again. You have been kind of soft lately…just the other day I dropped two jumpers on you, stripped you, intercepted one of your passes, blocked one of your shots and threw in the old school hook shot to sit you down. That was all in one game to 7….like I said before, my game has evolved.

Wolverine: Those were all fouls.

OTJ: But to answer the question, yes, you will get your opportunity to call me for traveling in the B leagues.

Wolverine: Most people can�t remember their first steps � but can you remember your first travel?

OTJ: I think Brian got me 5 times in one game…that is my earliest recollection of it. But I know it started as soon as I took off on the break with the ball in my very first game.

Wolverine: Please describe each CRFC referee�s strengths and weaknesses in detail.

OTJ: Brian…lets the game become too much like a football game, but he does call it evenly, which is really all you can ask for. Contact…I think he calls the best overall game. He calls 3 seconds, he calls over the back, he makes all the calls. I think he calls the game tight early to get everyone in line, and then he loosens up a bit at the end sometimes, but Dave, where the hell where you the other game when Statchel stuck my head in the wall??? You didn’t see it??? What in *&^%$’s name were you looking at??? I should have shot T’s on that.

Wolverine: I saw that � it was pretty funny. You got creamed.

OTJ: Commish…he absolutely cannot be a referee under any circumstances…he loses control of every game he refs. He is the greatest Commish in the world, better than David Stern, but he should be banned from reffing. I will ref any game that he has to ref in the future and show him how to do it. And the Wolverine…that’s probably the one thing keeping me from joining the B league…The Wolverine needs to A, Watch the Game, and B, Figure out how to blow the whistle, and C, Actually blow it once in a while. Considering the BS calls you make in pickup…I really need to see some of that in the B League.

Wolverine: If the CRFC genie granted you one wish for the league, what would it be?

OTJ: All I need is a handle…somebody please get me a handle. Can I have one more?

Wolverine: Sure.

OTJ: Channel John Stockton through Old Dirty Sanchez…

Wolverine: I think I know the answer to this one, and I am going to regret asking this, but did the country do the right thing by re-electing Bush?

OTJ: The majority elected the right man for the job. I know John Kerry personally, and I like him, but I really felt like he did not define what he was going to do correctly. Bush will go down as a truly great President…that’s right, I said great…because he brought democracy to the Middle East and he defended America. All these {people] who are against the war…you need to go back and watch the 9/11 tapes again…5 days after 9/11 if we had dropped an atomic bomb on Afghanistan, nobody would have complained, but now everyone is scared.

Wolverine: A few people may have complained, like the 95% of Afghanis who aren�t terrorists.

OTJ: Bush is good at task completion…he is going to finish this thing off and our country is going to be a lot safer than it was long term. Anybody attacked America lately, Filosa?

Wolverine: I think there was a minor disturbance at the White Hen in Saugus Center last Saturday night.

OTJ: No, because we are kicking their butts over there, not the reverse. But our soldiers are getting killed…yeah, I know that, but that is what soldiers do-they put their lives on the line for everyone else.

Wolverine: And for revenge for Saddam trying to kill daddy.

OTJ: And that is why they have my utmost respect…they volunteered to put their lives on the line for our country.

Wolverine: Agreed. Nobody I know who is against the war is against the actual soldiers.

OTJ: Ten years from now, Bush will be a legend…for standing up for the right thing and executing it. Kicking people�s butts is required from time to time…and I will give Bush credit for doing it. He’s not the best, but I’ll take what I’m getting right now. I heard Ripley has a huge Karl Rove poster in his room…is that true?

Wolverine: I don�t know. We usually take separate cabs home, so I have never been in his bedroom.

OTJ: Speaking of kicking asses…that Filosa -Poulos Kangaroo Boxing Match was really funny, though I was concerned someone was going to get hurt at the time…let’s talk about CRFC brawls for a second…that was a good one, but I really regret I never punched Kaup. What was your favorite fight of all time?

Wolverine: Has to be the �lights out fight� between Kaup and Brian Salus. They started fighting at mid-court and all of a sudden the CRFC lights went out and it was pitch black in the gym. All you could hear was Kaup swearing and fists flying. Salus was actually never seen again. If Kaup was playing under current league guidelines, he may be banned for life by now. Ok, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Catherine Bach (in her Dukes of Hazzard prime)?

OTJ: Bach in her prime, by far. But those pictures that came out of her recently? Man, that was scary bad…on the same level as that Tonya Harding shot in the paper a while back. But Angie Harmon is really my girl…

Wolverine: She has bad taste in men though. Sehorn? C’mon. Ok, thanks for being on this week’s Wolverine Trap. You did not disappoint.

OTJ: Always a pleasure to spend time with the Wolverine.